Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) is struggling to find a reliable middle-order in the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020. They are heavily dependent on the top order, comprising of KL Rahul, Mayank Agarwal and Nicholas Pooran to score runs. Glenn Maxwell was bought in the IPL 2020 auction to solve KXIP’s middle-order problem but the Aussie has failed to score runs. As a result, they have consecutively lost four matches after losing their last match against SunRisers Hyderabad on Thursday (October 8).
Kings XI Punjab is set to face Kolkata Knight Riders on Saturday (October 10). They need to find a way to break their losing streak and win the match against KKR to swoop in confidence. For that, they need to take some bold decisions in their playing XI setup. On that note, here we have discussed how KXIP’s playing XI can shape in against KKR.
Kings XI Punjab Predicted XI against Kolkata Knight Riders:
Chris Gayle needs to come back in the Kings XI Punjab’s playing XI to give more depth at batting order. KL Rahul or Mayank Agarwal can be pushed one position back to make a spot for the universal boss. His inclusion in the team will be a big boost to KXIP and decrease the burden on to score runs.
KL Rahul is leading the table of scoring most runs but his team is unable to win matches. He has scored 313 runs in six matches but his team has won only one match so far. Now, with Chris Gayle coming back as his opening partner, he will anchor the innings and try to stay longer on the field to not expose the middle-order early.
Mayank Agarwal is the second leading scorer for Kings XI Punjab. He has opened the innings with KL Rahul in the past six matches but he may not open in the next match because Gayle is entering at the top position. KXIP will want him to deliver the same performance as in the previous matches of this season.
Nicholas Pooran is taking responsibility to score runs after KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal, and he is the only good positive factor that has come out in the last three defeats of Kings XI Punjab. He scored his first maiden fifty of IPL against SRH and tried to take close to the chase even though the wickets around him fell like of heap of the card. The Windies is going to play a significant role for the team this season.
Although Glenn Maxwell is struggling to score runs, Kings XI Punjab will back him in another four to five games seeing his exploits in international cricket. He will be expected to soon find his form otherwise the team will get hurt in further matches as well.
Mandeep Singh is the powerful striker but he has still not got a good day with his bat. Kings XI Punjab will want him to come out more aggressive in the field in middle-order and accelerate the innings.
Replacing Mujeeb Ur Rahaman, Krishnappa Gowtham will be brought back into the attack. The off-spinner played the last match against Mumbai Indians where he scored unbeaten 22 runs and also picked one wicket. In the IPL 2018 season, he was a regular player for Rajasthan Royals.
Ravi Bishnoi has taken the responsibility very well even though his efforts have not ended up in winning cause. He has picked up seven wickets in six matches. In the last match against SRH, he brought Kings XI Punjab back in the game by breaking the century partnership of Jonny Bairstow and David Warner. The 20-year-old is going to play a crucial role for Punjab.
Mohammed Shami is in the best form of his career. He has picked up nine wickets in six matches at the economy rate of 8.51. However, in the last two matches, he has failed to pick wickets in the power play which has affected the team’s performance. Kings XI Punjab will want him to get things right back on track for the team.
Sheldon Cottrell went wicketless while also proved expensive as he bowled three overs against SRH in the last match. When the main bowler fails to pick a wicket, the team had suffered because of it. Similarly, it happened for Kings XI Punjab as SRH posted 201 runs total. KXIP will want him to bounce back stronger against KKR as they are desperate to win that match.
The youngster got his first game for KXIP against SRH and impressed everyone with his performance. The left-arm pacer bagged two wickets of Manish Pandey and Priyam Garg. He will maintain his spot in the playing XI against KKR.